The Monument to the Tsar Liberator is a monument in the centre of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It was erected in honour of Russian Emperor Alexander II who liberated Bulgaria of Ottoman rule during the Russo-Turkish War.
The Monument to the Tsar Liberator lies on a little square at Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd, facing the National Assembly of Bulgaria and with the Radisson SAS hotel behind it.
The Neoclassical memorial’s author is Italian sculptor Arnoldo Zocchi. The foundation stone was laid on 23 April 1901, St George’s Day, in the presence of Knyaz Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, and the monument was completed on 15 September 1903.
The Monument to the Tsar Liberator consists of a pedestal, a middle part with figures and a massive Neo-Renaissance cornice finished with the sculpture of the Russian tsar on a horse. The bronze wreath at the foot was donated by Romania in memory of the Romanian soldiers that died during the war. The black polished granite came from Vitosha mountain which lies next to Sofia.
The main bronze bas-relief in the middle part depicts a group of Russian and Bulgarian soliders led by Nike, the Ancient Greek goddess of victory, who rises her sword high above. Portraits of Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaievich, Count Ignatiev and the generals Joseph Vladimirovich Gourko and Mikhail Skobelev surround the group. Other bas-reliefs feature scenes from the Battle of Stara Zagora, the signing of the Treaty of San Stefano and the opening ceremony of the Constituent National Assembly in Veliko Tarnovo.